In figure skating, the word "Freestyle" has more than one meaning.
A freestyle session is a practice session. Freestyles are different than public skating sessions. Usually they cost much more than a public session and skaters must be able to skate at a freestyle level. This means that freestyle sessions usually don't have beginning ice skaters on them.
Next, the word "freestyle" can mean doing single skating on the ice. It might be common to hear a skater say, "I like freestyle better than dance." That would mean that this skater prefers skating alone and doing jumps and spins to ice dancing.
Most figure skaters do "freestyle." Freestyle can be practiced on public skating sessions if the rink permits free skating, but freestyle is usually practiced on special freestyle sessions.
Pair skaters must do freestyle. Ice dancers need freestyle experience to do the complicated freestyle moves that are in free dancing. Free dancing is not freestyle. In fact, certain freestyle moves are not allowed in ice dancing.
At one time, the figure portion of a competition counted for more than sixty percent of the total score. Skaters weren't even able to do their freestyle program unless they placed in the top eight at regional events.